Dawet Telasih dan Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Pintu utara Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro.

Walau Rahadian baru tiba di Solo saat pagi buta dan sempat menumpang mandi serta sarapan, maka sesuai jadwal, aku tetap melakukan check-out dari Grand Amira Hotel by Azana. Waktu sudah menunjukkan pukul 8:30 WIB saat kami keluar ke pelataran hotel.

Aku segera memesan taksi online dan meluncur  menuju daerah Sudiroprajan untuk melakukan survey kuliner pertama. Kuliner istimewa yang kusasar adalah Es Dawet Telasih, yaitu dawet berkomposisi ketan hitam, jenang sunsum, tape ketan, biji telasih, gula cair, santan dan es batu.

Aku diturunkan di pintu utara Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro tepat di sebelah Tugu Jam Pasar Gede. Bangunan tua dari pasar peninggalan Belanda ini memang mengagumkan. Perpaduan arsitektur Jawa-Kolonial tersirat jelas dari penampakan dinding bergaya Kolonial dan atap bergaya Jawa. Berdinding tebal, langit-langit ruangan yang tinggi dan jendela memanjang ke atas.

Saat aku tiba, area pelataran sudah terasa sibuk pagi itu. Arus pengunjung yang keluar masuk pasar untuk berbelanja, para pedagang yang berbondong untuk memasukkan barang dagangan ke dalam pasar, riuh rendah teriakan tukang becak yang mencari penumpang serta kesibukan para pedagang kuliner ringan di area luar pasar membuat suasana pasar terbesar di kota Solo itu menjadi sangat hidup.

Suasana di luar Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro.
Suasana di luar Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro.
Tugu Jam Pasar Gede.
Suasana dalam Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro.
Suasana dalam Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro.
Suasana dalam Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro.

Aku bergegas memasuki area dalam pasar untuk mencari keberadaan Kedai Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi yang konon sangat terkenal di seantero Solo. Bagaimana tidak, konon racikan resep Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi sudah berusia 90 tahun dan tidak berubah sama sekali sejak pertama dibuat. Bahkan Es Dawet Telasih ini telah menjadi langganan Bapak Joko Widodo (Presiden Republik Indonesia) saat pulang ke Solo.

Menyibak gang-gang sempit di tengah pasar membuatku hanyut dalam rasa perniagaan masyarakat Solo. Dan akhirnya keadaan kurang menguntungkan menimpaku. Ketika tiba di depan Kedai Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi, kedai itu masih tutup dan lengang. Aku mencoba bertanya kepada beberapa pedagang di dalam pasar perihal kapan kedai itu akan dibuka.

Mengke jam sedoso, mas”, begitu mereka menjawab.

Oalah, aku terlalu pagi melakukan survey dawet ini.

Dugi jam kalih biasanipun sampun telas, Mas”, mereka menambahkan informasi ketika aku terduduk di salah satu bangku kedai kosong itu.

Bagaimanapun caranya, aku harus menemukan dan merasakan Es Dawet Telasih untuk menguji rasanya, karena para peserta Marketing Conference nantinya akan diarahkan ke Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro untuk mencicipi kuliner itu.

Aku mencoba menelusuri gang-gang lain dalam pasar, hingga menemukan Kedai Es Dawet Telasih Ibu Hj. Sipon. Tanpa fikir panjang aku segera memesan seporsi dengan harga Rp. 8.000. Begitu pelan kunikmati, memang Es Dawet Telasih ini sangat spesial rasanya, perpaduan gurih, manis, tekstur lembut dan sejuk menjadi satu kesatuan yang menggugah selera. Akhirnya kuputuskan, Es Dawet Telasih menjadi destinasi kuliner pertama untuk Marketing Conference nanti.

Salah satu kedai Es Dawet Telasih.
Ibu Hj. Sipon.
Es Dawet Telasih.

Setelah menikmati Es Dawet Telasih, aku dan Rahadian bergegas menuju ke Dinas Perhubungan Kota Solo untuk mencarter Kereta Wisata Jaladara.

Survey Solo Bermula dari Grand Amira Hotel by Azana

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Hampir tengah malam….

Percakapan berbumbu secangkir latte tambahan dengan Pak Arman di lobby Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences masih saja hangat. Sedangkan Rihsan, anak keduanya yang berumur delapan tahun sudah terlelap di salah satu sisi sofa. Aku yakin jika tak menyudahi, pasti kongkow ini akan berakhir saat fajar. Maka akulah yang bertanggung jawab menutup percakapan ini.

Baiklah Pak Arman, sudah saatnya saya undur diri dan beristirahat di hotel”, kuucapkan sesopan mungkin setelah meneguk sisa latteku.

Oh, udah hampir tengah malam ya?. Oh iya, Pak Donny menginap dimana?”.

Di Grand Amira Hotel, Pak Arman”.

Oh, baiklah. Hati-hati pak di jalan. Sampai jumpa lagi kapan-kapan”.

Jalanan sudah sepi. Untuk mengurangi resiko keamanan, kuputuskan untuk memesan taksi online saja. Tak lama aku dijemputnya. Lalu, taksi melaju melalui Jalan Honggowongso menuju ke daerah Pasar Kliwon. Dalam perjalanan, aku mencoba melacak keberadaan Rahadian dalam perjalanannya dari Bandung menuju Solo. Tapi panggilanku tak berjawab, pesanku tak berbalas,mungkin dia pulas di kereta.

Solo aman ngga pak, kalau malam-malam gini naik ojek motor?” tanyaku kepada sopir untuk membuka pembicaraan.

Aman, Insyaallah mas. Disini ojek online jalan 24 jam. Ga usah khawatir”.

Wah berarti besok malam saya bisa begadang di kota nih pak….Hahahaha

Kulineran malam saja mas Donny. Solo jagonya kuliner. Di sini kuliner ada waktunya masing-masing. Ada kuliner pagi, ada juga yang buka siang, nah malam begini juga ada yang mulai buka mas”, jelasnya singkat.

Wah unik ya Solo. Pedagang kuliner seperti punya slot waktu jualan masing-masing. Kaya kesepakatan saja….hahaha” aku mulai mengagumi keunikan kota ini.

Sang sopir taksi memang tak pernah tahu bahwa tujuanku ke Solo ini untuk melakukan survey kuliner terbaik yang akan dijadikan destinasi pada acara Marketing Conference perusahaanku. Besok pagi aku akan mulai mecicipi setiap hidangan kuliner ternama Kota Batik bersama Rahadian.

Dalam 15 menit, aku tiba di pelataran Grand Amira Hotel by Azana. Hotel modern minimalis yang telah dipesan oleh kantorku. Bagiku hotel seharga 335.000 per malam ini menjadi hotel mewah karena aku terbiasa memanfaatkan dormitory ketika melakukan backpacking. Langkahku di lobby disambut dengan senyum manis resepsionis yang tampak bergegas berdiri ketika melihat kedatanganku.

Datangnya malam sekali, Bapak Donny”, sapanya singkat.

Oh iya mbak. Saya harus ketemu teman lama dahulu di daerah Mangkubumen. Keasyikan ngobrol mbak”, sambil kuserahkan booking confirmation letter dan KTP kepadanya.

Oh begitu, tapi Bapak ga perlu khawatir, resepsionis kita melayani 24 jam, Bapak”. Senyumnya terlihat aduhai sembari memberikan kunci kamar dan kwitansi bayar.

Setelahnya aku bergegas menaiki kamar dengan lift di sebelah kanan belakang meja resepsionis.

—-****—-

Tok…Tok….Tok”, bunyi itu sepertinya sudah berlangsung dari beberapa menit yang lalu.

Astagaaaa……

Aku tertidur pulas dan kesiangan.

Tok…Tok…Tok, Pak Donny buka, Pak. Ini Rahadian”, suara itu lirih terdengar dari luar.

Pasti sejak pagi gelap tadi, Rahadian sudah tiba di hotel. Dugaanku, dia pasti menuggu lama di lobby. Kulihat di gawai pintarku banyak sekali panggilan tak terjawab darinya. Pesan whatsapp pun tak terbaca. 

Kubuka pintu itu dan muka Rahadian tampak bercanda seolah menggerutu. “Gimana sih pak, kalau guwe  kagak naik ke kamar, pasti lo bangunnya tengah hari nih. Parah Pak Donny”.

Sorry, Rahadian. Semalam aku ketemu teman lama di Solo Paragon. Jadi kemalaman pulang….Hahaha. Sana kamu mandi duluan, kita segera sarapan dan melakukan survey”, selorohku sambil mengucek-ucek mata dan melompat kembali ke tempat tidur.

Pagi ini aku akan check-out dan berpindah ke Amaris Hotel di daerah Sriwedari. Aku dan Rahadian sengaja membawa backpack kecil dan ringan, sehingga setelah check-out kami bisa leluasa bergerak tanpa harus menaruh sesuatu di Amaris Hotel terlebih dahulu.

Mau ikut survey kulinerku? ….hahaha.

Yukksss….

Latte Solo Paragon: DAMRI Adi Soemarmo International Airport

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

“Pak Donny, lama kita tidak bertemu. Sebelum Bapak menuju hotel, mampir sebentar ya ke Solo Paragon. Kita berbincang dan minum kopi bersama!”, pesan singkat pak Arman ketika aku masih berada di waiting room Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.

Pak Arman….Dia adalah suami dari klien saya, seorang Bangladesh yang menjadi WNI beberapa tahun silam.

Bapak bersama siapa di Solo Paragon?”, aku membalas singkat pesannya.

“Saya berdua dengan anak saya kedua, pak. Saya tunggu kedatangan Bapak ya!”, pintanya sedikit memaksa.

“Baik pak Arman”.

Pukul 17:30, akhirnya Citilink QG 126 mendarat sempurna di Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo. Pada akhirnya, aku memang mengurungkan niat untuk langsung menuju Grand Amira Hotel by Azana di daerah Pasar Kliwon. Kuputuskan memenuhi undangan minum kopi Pak Arman.

Konter penjualan tiket taksi dan bus DAMRI.
Koridor menuju area parkir dan shelter bus DAMRI.
Bus DAMRI menungguku.

Oh ya….

Beberapa tahun lalu, sebelum aktif menulis di blog ini, aku pernah mendarat di bandara yang sama. Hanya saja, kala itu aku dijemput seorang teman dekat menuju pusat kota. Tapi kali ini, aku akan mencoba moda transportasi umum menuju pusat kota.

Lamat kuperhatikan di sebelah timur bangunan terminal bandara, terdapat sebuah proyek pengerjaan stasiun kereta bandara yang masih setengah jadi. “Akhirnya Solo akan memiliki kereta bandara juga”, gumamku. Salut dengan perkembangan Kota Batik itu.

Gelap cepat mengakuisisi waktu, aku membatalkan eksplorasi bandara. Aku lebih memilih untuk segera mencari konter yang menjual tiket bus DAMRI. Konter itu kutemukan di selasar arrival hall sebelah timur, bersebelahan dengan konter penjualan tiket taksi.

Bersiap menuju pusat kota.
Tiket.
Sampai nanti Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

Sore itu konter terasa sepi, bahkan aku hanya berselang satu antrian dengan seorang ibu. Dibelakangku sudah tak ada penumpang yang mengantri lagi. Berdasar informasi dari staff penjaga loket, bus DAMRI akan berhenti di tujuan akhir Terminal Tirtonadi. Menuju Solo Paragon di daerah Mangkubumen, aku dianjurkan untuk berhenti di Solo Square, pusat perbelanjaan di daerah Laweyan. Membayar Rp. 25.000 aku mendapatkan selembar tiket menuju pusat kota. “Bus sudah menunggu di shelter ya, pak”, selorohnya memberitahuku.

Dengan cepat aku menyusuri koridor menuju ke area parkir bandara. Terlihat di ujung koridor telah menunggu bus warna biru berukuran sedang. Kulihat ibu yang mengantri di depanku tadi sudah masuk melalui pintu tengahnya. Sementara sang sopir tampak melambaikan tangan kepadaku untuk segera bergegas karena bus akan segera berangkat. Walaupun kursi belum penuh, bus itu lebih mengutamakan ketepatan waktu untuk segera beranjak menuju ke kota yang berjarak sekitar 15 Km.

Sopir itu memeriksa tiketku sebelum aku masuk. Aku terduduk di bangku tengah dan tak lama kemudian bus perlahan meninggalkan bandara. Menyusuri jalan Adi Sumarmo, berlanjut di Jalan Adi Sucipto dan masuk ke Jalan Slamet Riyadi. Melewati beberapa bangunan ternama seperti De Tjolomadoe, Javenir dan Stasiun Purwosari.

Dalam waktu 20 menit, bus mulai merapat di Pusat perbelanjaan Solo Square dan aku pun turun di tepian Jalan Slamet Riyadi yang menjadi jalan protokol kota. Kufikir akan lebih baik melakukan santap malam sebelum minum kopi bersama Pak Arman. Akhirnya aku berhenti di kuliner jalanan, Aku duduk meleseh di sebuah “angkringan” dan menyantap beberapa nasi kucing dan sejumlah sate telur, sate kulit dan kerupuk. Menikmati wedang jahe di “angkringan” adalah sesuatu yang lama sekali tak kulakukan lagi. Kebiasaan ini bukan masalah murahnya harga, tetapi lebih kepada cita rasa dan cara menghabiskan malam Kota Batik.

Angkringan dan nasi kucing.
Tiba di Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences.

Pak Donny, sudah mendarat?”, Pak Arman kembali mengirimkan pesan singkat.

Sudah pak, saya hanya berjarak 4 Km dari tempat Bapak. Sebentar lagi saya kesitu pak. Tunggu ya!”, balasku singkat.

Aku segera membayar menuku dan memesan ojek online menuju Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences. Dalam waktu 10 menit, aku tiba dan langsung menuju ke lobby.

Memasuki lobby, tampak Pak Arman dan Rishan menunggu di depan pintu. Kujabat tangannya dan berpeluk ringan kemudian kami menghabiskan waktu hingga tengah malam untuk sekedar berbincang, berbagi kabar dan menikmati latte.

Thank you Mr Arman.

Thank you Solo.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Fall asleep at Amaris Hotel Sriwedari

<—-Previous Story

I was still four kilometers from western boundary of Solo City. The air wasn’t as hot as midday earlier, now it was 14:15 hours and I had just finished exploring De’ Tjolomadoe Sugar Factory Museum. A portion of rawon and chocolate ice milk which I ate in the museum at least made me calmer and clearer thinking about the next stage of survey.

But it was been six hours since I left the courtyard of Grand Amira Hotel by Azana in Pasar Kliwon area this morning. I decided to immediately do an check-in process at Amaris Hotel Sriwedari. That means, I have to head to the middle of Solo City again. I decided to take an online taxi.

Soon I ordered it. Until the online taxi which I was riding began to rush towards downtown. After rode twelve kilometers, I finally arrived in front of Amaris Hotel Sriwedari in thirty minutes.

Rahadian at reception desk.
Lobby.
View from guest room.

Rahadian immediately handled of check-in process at reception desk and I chose to enjoy a glass of orange juce as a welcome drink facility at this two-star hotel. We immediately entered the room and I decided to cool off myself under the shower.

I re-opened the itinerary which I had compiled in Jakarta. I took a deep breath, because there were still many agendas left to do. But before heading to the next place, I decided to take a moment to write down all important things which I have been getting since morning. I started to type all important things about Dawet Telasih Ice, Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market, Jaladara Tourist Train, Balekambang Park, Swiss-Belinn Saripetojo and De ‘Tjolomadoe. That notes would be a survey report which was needed by Marketing Conference Event Section to determine conference form in more detail.

Sharing the task with Rahadian in compiling the report, made it faster for us to complete it. It took one hour to make a detailed review of six destinations and the report was completed after I sent it via email to Mr. Dedi who is the Chair of Event Section who was of course still in Jakarta.

Hotel restaurant.
Breakfast on next day.
Third Day in Solo City.

Feeling exhausted after twenty-two hours from the time of my arrival in Solo, I fell asleep beside my laptop which was still on. Looked like that Rahadian let me soundly sleep until a few moments later he started to wake me up.

Mr. Donny….Wake up !. Let’s take another survey. We still have many places to visit! ”, He lightly said with a light smile.

How long have I been asleep, Rahadian?”, I nervously said.

One hour, Sir”.

Oh Gosh, it’s late. Let’s go! ”, I jumped out of bed.

Almost five o’clock….I decided to pack up to go to next destination. I would head east for two blocks. This destination is in Keprabon area and only one kilometer from the hotel where I stayed.

Let me show you that place !.

Next Story—->

Dawet Telasih Ice and Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market

<—-Previous Story

North Gate of Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market.

Even though Rahadian had just arrived in Solo very early in the morning and had a chance to take a shower and breakfast in hotel, according to schedule, I still checked out from Grand Amira Hotel by Azana. The time was already 8:30 hours when we came out to hotel courtyard.

I immediately ordered an online taxi and headed for Sudiroprajan area to do the first culinary survey. The special culinary which I was aiming for was Dawet Telasih Ice*1, dawet which was consisting of black sticky rice, jenang sumsum*2, tape ketan*2, telasih seeds, liquid sugar, coconut milk and ice cubes.

I was dropped off at the north door of Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market, right next to Pasar Gede Clock Tower. This old market building of Dutch heritage was indeed amazing. The combination of Javanese-Colonial architecture could be clearly seen from the appearance of Colonial-style walls and Javanese-style roofs. Thick walls, high ceilings and windows extending upwards.

When I arrived, market courtyard area was already busy that morning. The flow of visitors who come in and out of the market to shop, traders who flocked to entering their trading goods into market, boisterous of pedicab drivers who looking for passengers and busyness of light culinary traders outside the market made atmosphere of the biggest market in Solo City very lively .

Its Courtyard.
That is Pasar Gede Clock Tower.
Market inside.
Market inside.
Market inside.

I rushed into market inside to find whereabouts of Bu Dermi’s Dawet Telasih Ice Shop which was said to be very well known throughout Solo City. How couldn’t, it was said that Bu Dermi’s Dawet Telasih Ice recipe concoction was 90 years old and hadn’t changed at all since it was first made. Even this Dawet Telasih Ice had become a subscription for Mr. Joko Widodo (Republic of Indonesia President) when he went home to Solo.

Walking through narrow alleys in the middle of market made me immerse in commercial sense of Solo residents. And finally, unfortunate circumstances befall me. When I arrived in front of Bu Dermi’s Dawet Telasih Ice Shop, the shop was still closed and deserted. I tried to ask some traders in the market about when the shop would open.

Later on 10:00 hours, Sir“, they replied.Oalah, aku terlalu pagi melakukan survey dawet ini.

Until 14:00 hours, it usually ends, Sir“, they added information when I sat on one of empty shop benches.

No matter how, I have to find and taste Dawet Telasih Ice to test its taste, because Marketing Conference participants will be directed to Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market to taste this culinary item.

I tried to walk on other alleys in the market, until I found Ibu Hj. Sipon’s Dawet Telasih Ice Shop. Without thinking, I immediately ordered a portion for IDR. 8,000. I enjoyed it so slowly, this Dawet Telasih Ice had very special taste, combination of savory, sweet, soft and cold texture became an appetizing unit. Finally I decided, Dawet Telasih Ice would be the first culinary destination for Marketing Conference later.

One of Dawet Telasih Ice Shops.
Mrs. Hj. Sipon.
Dawet Telasih Ice.

After enjoying Dawet Telasih Ice, Rahadian and I rushed to Solo City Transportation Board to charter a Jaladara Tourist Train*4.

Notes:

*1 : Dawet Telasih Ice is a culinary specialty of Solo City.

*2: Jenang Sumsum is a kind of food in the form of white porridge made from rice flour and eaten with sweet sauce.

*3: Tape Ketan is is a traditional Indonesian food made from sticky rice which is processed by fermentation.

Next Story—->

Solo Survey Started from Grand Amira Hotel by Azana

<—-Previous Story

Almost midnight….

The conversation spiced with an additional cup of latte with Mr. Arman in the lobby of Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences was still warm. Meanwhile, Rihsan, his second eight-year-old son, fell asleep on one side of sofa. I was sure that if it wasn’t ended, this conversation would end at dawn. Then I was the one who was responsible for closing this conversation.

Alright Mr. Arman, it’s time for me to excuse myself and rest at hotel“, I said as polite as possible after sipping the rest of my latte.

Oh, it’s almost midnight huh ?. Oh yes, where is Mr. Donny staying?”.

At Grand Amira Hotel, Sir Arman”.

Oh okay. Be careful on your way. See you again next time”.

The streets are deserted. To reduce safety risks, I decided to order a taxi online instead. Soon, I picked up by him. Then, the taxi drove through Honggowongso Street to Pasar Kliwon area. On my way, I tried to track down Rahadian on his way from Bandung to Solo. But my calls weren’t answered, my messages were unrequited, maybe he was sleeping on train.

Is Solo safe or not, sir if i ride a motorbike taxi at night?” I asked to driver to open the conversation.

Safe, Sir. In Solo, online motorcycle taxi runs for 24 hours. Don’t worry”.

Wow that means, tomorrow night I can stay up late in the city, Sir….Hahahaha“.

Culinary night, Sir Donny. Solo is a culinary centre. Culinary here has its own time. There are morning culinary delights, some are open at noon, now at night some are starting to open, Sir“, he briefly explained.

Wow, it’s unique. Culinary traders seem to have their respective sales time slots. Just like a deal….hahaha”, I began to admire the uniqueness of this city.

The taxi driver never knew that my goal to Solo was to do a culinary survey and found several culinary spots which would become a destination at my company’s Marketing Conference event. Tomorrow morning I would start in tasting every famous culinary dish of Batik City with Rahadian.

In 15 minutes, I arrived at the courtyard of Grand Amira Hotel by Azana. Modern minimalist hotel which was booked by my office. For me, Hotel with its cost about Rp. 335,000 per night had become a luxury hotel because I often used dormitories when doing backpacking. My steps in the lobby was greeted by a sweet smile from receptionist who seemed to hurry to standing when he saw my arrival.

Reception desk.
Hotel’s lobby.
My room.
My room.
My room.

“You come very night, Mr. Donny”, he briefly said.

Oh yes, Miss. I had to meet my old friend in Mangkubumen area. It had been fun conversation with him, Miss”, while I handed to her the booking confirmation letter and my ID card.

I see, but you don’t need to worry, our receptionist serves 24 hours, Sir“. Her smile looked sweety while giving a room key and payment receipt to me.

After that I rushed up to room with a lift to right behind of reception desk.

—-****—-

Knock….Knock….Knock“, the sound seemed to have been going on from a few minutes ago.

Oh my God……

I was fast asleep and late to woke up.

Knock….Knock….Knock. Mr. Donny open, Sir!. This is Rahadian”, the voice softly sounded from outside.

It must have been since dark morning, Rahadian had arrived at hotel. I guess that he have waited for a long time in lobby. I saw on my smartphone a lot of missed calls from him. Some Whatsapp messages were unread.

I opened the door and Rahadian’s face was joking as if he was grumbling. “How is it, Sir. If I don’t go up to this room, you will definitely wake up in the middle of day. It’s bad, Mr. Donny”.

“Sorry, Rahadian. Last night, I met an old friend at Solo Paragon. So I was late to go to this hotel….Hahaha. You can shower first, we’ll have breakfast and do a survey”, I joked while rubbing my eyes and jumping back into bed.

Hotel’s restaurant.
Time to breakfast.
He is Rahadian.

This morning I would check out and move to Amaris Hotel in Sriwedari area. Rahadian and I deliberately brought a small and light backpack, so that after checking out, we could freely move without having to put anything at Amaris Hotel first.

Did you want to follow my culinary survey?.

Came on!….

Next Story—->

Solo Paragon’s Latte: Adi Soemarmo International Airport’s DAMRI Bus

<—-Previous Story

Mr. Donny, it’s been a long time since we met. Before you go to hotel, please, stop by for a moment at Solo Paragon. We can talk and drink coffee together!”, Mr. Arman short message while I was still in waiting room at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.

Mr. Arman….He is the husband of my client, a Bangladeshi who became an Indonesian citizen several years ago.

Who are you with in Solo, Sir?“, I replied to his short message.

I am with my second son, sir. I am waiting for your arrival, ok? ”He asked with a little forcefully.

Okay, Sir Arman”.

On 17:30 hours, finally, Citilink QG 126 perfectly landed at Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo. In the end, I really canceled on going straight to Grand Amira Hotel by Azana in Pasar Kliwon area. I decided to fulfill Mr. Arman’s coffee drinking invitation.

DAMRI taxi and bus ticket sales counter.
A corridor leads to parking area and DAMRI bus shelter.
DAMRI bus was waiting for me.

Oh yes….

Several years ago, before actively writing on this blog, I had landed at the same airport. It’s just that, at that time I was picked up by a friend with his car to city center. But this time, I would try a public transportation mode to downtown.

I slowly noticed that in the east of airport terminal building, there was a construction project for airport train station which was still half finished. “Finally Solo will have an airport train too“, I muttered. Salute with the development of Batik City*1.

Dark quickly acquired time, I canceled airport exploration. I prefered to immediately look for a counter which sell DAMRI bus tickets. I found that counter in hallway of eastern arrival hall, next to taxi ticket counter.

Get ready for downtown.
Ticket.
See you later Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

That afternoon the counter was quiet, even I only had one queue with a old woman. Behind me, there weren’t passengers waiting in line anymore. Based on information from counter staff, DAMRI bus would stop at its final destination in Tirtonadi Terminal. Towards Solo Paragon in Mangkubumen area, I was advised to stop at Solo Square, a shopping center in Laweyan area. Paid Rp. 25,000, I got a ticket to downtown. “The bus is waiting at its shelter, Sir” she told me.

I quickly walked down a corridor to airport parking area. Seen at the end of corridor, waiting for me a medium sized blue bus. I saw that old woman who was queuing in front of me had entered through the middle door. While the driver seemed to be waving at me to hurry up because bus was about to leave. Even though its seats weren’t full, the bus prioritized punctuality to immediately head to city which is about 15 km away.

The driver checked my ticket before I entered. I sat in the middle seat and soon bus slowly left airport. Riding along Adi Sumarmo Street, continued on Adi Sucipto Street and entered Slamet Riyadi Street. Passing several famous buildings such as De Tjolomadoe, Javenir and Purwosari Station.

Within 20 minutes, the bus started to stop at Solo Square shopping mall and I got off at the edge of Slamet Riyadi Street which is the city’s protocol road. I thought it would be better to have dinner before drinking coffee with Mr. Arman. Finally I stopped at street food stall, I sat down in an “angkringan*2” and ate some “cat rice*3” and some egg satay, shells satay and crackers. Enjoying ginger drink in angkringan was something I haven’t done for a long time. This habit wasn’t a matter of cheap price, but rather about taste and how to spend the night in Batik City.

Angkringan and cat rice.
Arrived at di Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences.

Mr. Donny, have you landed?“, Mr. Arman sent another short message.

Yes sir, I am only 4 km from your place. I’ll be there soon, sir. Wait yes!”, I briefly replied.

I immediately paid for my menu and ordered an online motorcycle taxi to Solo Paragon Hotel & Residences. Within 10 minutes, I arrived and headed straight to lobby.

Entering the lobby, I could see Mr. Arman and Rishan (her 9 years old son) waiting at the door. I shook his hand and lightly hugged then we spent until midnight just talking, sharing and enjoying a cup of latte.

Thank you Mr Arman.

Thank you Solo.

Note:

*1. Batik City is the other name for Solo City or Surakarta City.

*2. Angkringan is a street food stall typical of solo city.

*3. Cat rice in Indonesia is known as Nasi Kucing. Namely, rice packets which is its size is a fist.

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